Tag Archive: Get Real


Today has been, well, sucky.

I went to bed around 1am, after editing my short film for school. I woke up at 5am when someone had the audacity to call my house, AT 5AM. I went back to sleep, only to see 7am come too soon. Got up got dressed, went to turn on my laptop, to finish editing my work, only to find it crashed and died overnight. I spent my paycheck over the weekend, which means I had no money for repairs or a new laptop. I got reamed out over a political cou de ta . I had a car hit my passenger side view mirror, popping the glass out and pushing it away from my car. I’m  trying to convert two video interviews I did this morning to edit them into my film. My left contact just popped out of my eye, while I’m sitting her in the lab at school, editing my film.

And truth be told, I just want to scream!

But my daddy is still here, and I will wait in peace knowing he see’s all and loves me through it.

Its been one of those ‘what else can go wrong’ kinda of days. Your still so merciful God

God has loved me through my troubles today, and will love me on through yonder still..

I

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So this week i’ve been on autopilot. I go on autopilot when things get rough and I don’t have time to process anything.

I go on autopilot when I don’t want to feel anything.

I go on auto pilot when im scared.

Needless to say I’ve been feeling very blah, and I’m not one to admit that to anyone. Reasoning is because in ministry, when you minister, your taught to remain copacetic, always strong, and blatantly not real. But in the two years I’ve been out of ‘ministry’ I’ve learned that God can work more in my realness than in my stoic perpetuation of myself.

[yes i do realize I’m writing some big words here, just left humanities class…]

Anyways, so driving to school it all kinda hit me. It hit me that the man who raised me, in absence of my biological father who died before I was born, had a heart attack this week and almost died. It hit me that I’m not ready to face the idea of mortality with my parents. On the way to school I was sure my heart couldnt take this all, because for awhile I’ve felt to so strong. Driving down Staples Mill I began blinking back the tears forming in my eyes, telling myself to suck it up. You’ll be ok.

But that’s not ok. In the past two years I’ve felt somewhat alone as I’m making a new journey in my life which caused me to leave my friends, ministry, my life as I knew it and start over. In my alone-ness I’ve learned things that God could only tell me in private, beautiful things. Beautiful things like REALNESS is ESSENTIAL, owning what we are feeling while talking to God. Things like I’m not alone, never alone, nunca solo, He is mine and I am His. Things like starting over is ok, because its starting over that wrecks you. It wrecks every perception of how to live you’ve ever learned. Learning to do old things again with  a new attitude. Learning to see things with new eyes is starting over.

So what made me smile when I felt blah?

My buddy John. I’ve known him since I 17, we led worship together for 2 years in the college ministry at NLOI. John has always been an awesome guy, but he used to annoy me. He used to annoy me because he could read me like a book, know my thoughts, feelings, irritations, insecurities in like two seconds, and call me out while being gentle and comforting. I in-turn would get pissed, accuse him of patronizing me, and walk away. Yes, I, Heather Nicole Toler was, and probably still is,  a certified brat.

So today I got a message from him basically saying I haven’t forgotten you and see you soon.

Wow! How does someone you haven’t seen in almost two years, be able to reach in and pacify what you’ve been struggling with.  Because that is always my struggle, being alone, being forgotten. Well here’s the how, God. He gives us all the right combination of words knowing the meaning to someone else.

So I’m choosing and learning to Disengage the auto pilot. Its like an old friend said, ‘ Feelings are niether good nor bad, its what you do with them.’  So own them, give them to God and allow his comfort.

You haven’t lost.

Its amazing the things that God will use to make you smile when you feel blah.

Here’s the dreaded beginning of relationship posts…… Gotta ‘love’ it.

WARNING:  sometimes my posts are like alcohol before noon, its just to early for that. I tend to be a polarizing personality, so either you’ll be completely offended by the statement above and leave my site or you’ll be intrigued to read on.

Infidelity & America, wow!

I’ve been pretty silent throughout the Tiger Woods ordeal, didn’t quite understand it when Clinton was doing his dirt, lets not forget my televangelist brothers and sisters who did the same, but now here’s Jesse James.

Jesse James, CEO of West Coast Choppers, has been in the press the past few days for apparent infidelity. I only comment now, as I woke up and read the tweet from the Washington Post that James is apparently entering rehab for ‘personal issues’.  When I read that I assumed he was there because he’s a “sex addict”. Now please understand, I’m not judging, just asking a question.

Why is it that America makes celebrity infidelity seem like an addiction problem,specifically a sex addict, whereas in people like you and me we’re just plain ole cheaters?

Now, I’m not coming at this with a blind eye, not at all! I was the girl who was in a relationship with a guy for almost 2yrs and he cheated, multiple times. Cheating is a real thing, but how do you define it?

I’ve heard people say the worst kind of cheating is the emotional kind, where your sharing emotions and not just a physical relationship. They’ve point blank said, sex is something you can get over, but sharing your dreams and emotions with someone your not with is worse. I don’t know how I feel about that.

So all in all,  here are my questions:

  1. How do you define cheating? Is it physical, emotional, or both?
  2. Is there a difference between a wandering eye and having a sex addiction?
  3. What does God say about this?

Answer away!

Just a note from my perspective

I believe the bible. I believe what  Jesus said, that when you look at someone with the wrong eyes you’ve committed adultery because its been done in your heart. I believe in a one man, one woman relationship. I believe in faithfulness. I believe that we should faithful to whom we are with as Christ has been faithful to use ( remember your supposed to love your wife/husband as Christ loved the church?)

* I didn’t post any female cheaters because I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head, not picking on guys, some of us ladies are worse. Also, I don’t drink, in case your wondering…. I like to post a little something provocative to scare away the religious folks.

“Why Me?”

One of the most loneliest places in the world is to feel ignored by those you feel or felt most connected with, the only ones your connected with.

Its been a long while since I’ve written, few weeks maybe but thats long for me.

One of my constant struggles in this new season of my life is feeling ignored or forgotten, by people in my life and sometimes by God. Now please, remember this one thing when reading my blog: God is big enough to handle my questioning heart.  So let me be honest here about what I mean:

I left one place and moved to another.

Now I’m almost 2 years on the other side of this thing and I still feel alone, not connected, by myself.

So instead of dwelling on ‘poor me’ and getting angry with people and refusing to work with them or make advances to be nice to them, I dwell on the eternal factor. Not the ‘why me’ of a victim mentality, but ‘why me’ as in what are you allowing me to learn through this.

I sit here today, a writter, encouraging you to ask the Lord ‘Why Me’ as in what can I learn from this.

Peace and chicken grease!

You can say your healed…

Walk like your healed…

Talk like it, move forward like it

But how do you know your truly healed?

What is the ‘test of healing?’

The test of healing is the moment where those who hurt you deeply are alotted room to move around your space

The result of this test lies in two things and two things only:

  1. Does the original pain come forth with its original intensity?
  2. How long does it take you to get over this encounter?

With that said, yesterday, I had a test of healing and failed miserably.

I was hurt, I own it, and now choose to move forward.

You can’t hold me now!

We can always change.

We can always do better, give better, and listen longer. But are we willing? We want to change the world, my generation, yours, our peers and elected officials, all of us have found something in need of change.  My class on communication has me thinking heavily on Social Justice and Injustices. It takes me back to a conversation with a dear friend, where he quoted a Hillsong lyric simply stating,’ Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead.” So we want to change the world. We see a problem and only hope for better, but faith without deeds is dead.  As Christians we always go the road of ‘praying’ the issue away or waiting for the government to show up and fix things, but thats not what my bible says, and if its the wrong version, please tell me!

So what are the deeds? What are the mercy giving acts we can aspire to give in our time?
So again we can always change, but there’s “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” Matthew 19:26

‘Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead. Now that I have held you, in my own arms I cannot let go until you are…..

I will tel the world, I will tell them where i’ve been
I will keep my word
I will tell them albertine’

– Brooke Fraser Albertine

Dark Night of The Soul Series: 1

So here’s the story of me being left at the altar…..

Its a perfect setting, me, my friends, family are all gathering joyously celebrating my impending nuptials . We have the dress, wedding  site,  the bridal party, myself – the bride, my fiance – the groom, the priest.  Life was ready to be had or so I thought.

It was the morning of the wedding, a Saturday in fact, I walked through the church, walked to my place on the altar, all dressed up in white. And he wasn’t there. He wasn’t coming.

I HATE, HATE, HATE COMMITMENT!

Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, so lets me honest….. I FEAR IT.

It scares me, scares me because I’ll give my all and in return, Heather gets jipped. Left out. Forgotten. Heather commits to others – and she gets left at the altar.  or so it seems.

As of recently, I’ve come to realize I’ve been keeping a part of my heart away from God. The same part of heart I’ve kept from him all my life, the same part of my heart I’ve kept from the relationships,  the part I keep from my family, friends alike. I keep it only for me all because of fear.

Fear of giving my all – and its still not enough. That I’m not enough.

So thats been my struggle in my christianity. I’ve been afraid to totally commit certain aspects of my heart to God- and its put a real damper on my mood this last year. See I’ve made it a practice to, whenever I am struggling in particular area of my walk with God, ask for a dream, ‘cos I’m too pig headed to hear it directly. So the Lord usually appeases me and gives me dream/vision of sorts for me to chew on and then I get it. So thats the above story of me getting left at the altar.

OH! You thought that was real, no way, you kidding me? I wouldn’t dare get that far to the altar, lol.  I’m afraid of commitment remember? Told my ex he’d better be prepared to fight for me cos I’ll be the first to run.

Anyways, back to the point at hand.

I have come to realize that the biggest problem in my relationship with God, is my lack of trust in Him. See we can all be honest right? I’ve had my feelings hurt by God – haven’t we all? I’ve had to deal with the hurt of Him tearing down the kingdoms I’ve built in my life. I’ve dealt with the hurt of my prayers not being answered the way I wanted and expected them to be answered, but haven’t we all….

So I realized, I had a problem with God. As they would say in my mafia-esque familia: ‘we gots a beef wit chu!’ heavily accented in meatballs.

I had problems commiting to God, because I couldn’t see the commitment he made to me. And me being me would rather self-destruct, than take a chance, love God, let Him have all of me, and go for the ride.

I’ve come to realize that the scenes that invade my eye closed hours – normally exalt my worst fears.

And that is it

My worst fear is to be forgotten by God – and forever be the worker bee.

My worst fear is to someday realize that God is that cruel giant in heaven, with a magnifying glass, burning up his minion humans.

My worst fear is everything I’ve lived to disprove – will be found out as truth.

My worst fear is being pushed by tragedy so far away from God I’ll never come back.

So over the years, over this year, recent months, days even – self destructive tendancies (sin) has tried to enter and convince me to run, and tear apart what could last forever, ‘cos you may be let down, and why not have a second plan.

See I don’t know who this all is for…. I know maybe 1. But the point is, don’t run out on God because your afraid he may run out on you.

The point is also, not to run out on human love, human existance, because your afraid. No one ever got anywhere being afraid, being overly cautious.

For God sakes: JUMP!

even when circumstance feels like you’ve been left at the altar by God Himself!

Months ago, I was in a Rihop service in which is was asked of many – “How many felt they were being drawed into a time of wilderness with God.” I raised both hands, not knowing what it meant, and decided to run willingly into the wilderness with God. The conversation came up with Sherrie that I felt like God was calling me in the season for some years, 3 to be exact. She interpreted that as being 3 years of intense, intimate times with God. I wish I really would have caught that….. I wish I would have caught an understanding of the idea of being in the wilderness. Of being in a season of the Dark Night of the Soul.

Dark night of the soul is a metaphor used to describe a phase in a person’s spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation.

This is my place of honesty, the place where my scars and victories alike will be confirmed(word of my testimony) and hopefully a place where you will experience you own ‘healing’ or ‘revelation’.

This year has been a consistent struggle in my walk with God. I’ve gone through periods of utter Apathy, Anger, Depression, Fear of Commiting to God, Guilt, Shame, Torement, and yet in the midst of these unknown valley’s I’ve experienced some of the most awesome times of healing, times of worship, times of restoration. So the next few posts will be about these experiences.

In case your a theologian or one in training like me 😉 – and you want some understanding of the “Dark Night of The Soul” experiences here’s an piece of writing I found on it:

In the Christian tradition, one who has developed a strong prayer life and consistent devotion to God suddenly finds traditional prayer extremely difficult and unrewarding for an extended period of time during this “dark night.” The individual may feel as though God has suddenly abandoned them or that his or her prayer life has collapsed. In the most pronounced cases, belief is lost in the very existence of God and/or validity of religion, rendering the individual an atheist, even if they continue with the outward expressions of faith.

Rather than resulting in devastation, however, the dark night is perceived by mystics and others to be a blessing in disguise, whereby the individual is stripped (in the dark night of the senses) of the spiritual ecstasy associated with acts of virtue. Although the individual may for a time seem to outwardly decline in their practices of virtue, they in reality become more virtuous, as they are being virtuous less for the spiritual rewards (ecstasies in the cases of the first night) obtained and more out of a true love for God. It is this purgatory, a purgation of the soul, that brings purity and union with God.

Dear Friend,

If you are in this place, don’t worry, I am too!

I’ve found out one thing in this little bit of time:

It will all be alright, more than alright actually.

God Bless,

Keep being Driven, Keep Moving Forward

H


Bug

Originally uploaded by HeatherNicole1

There are some things that change your perspective.
There’s a view point, if you will, only provided through the eyes of another.

The view point I’ve been seeing today is from my niece/little sister. Technically, she’s neither, but in the same breath she’s everything.

Destanie aka Bug is my viewpoint, and what we are looking at is God & All His Glory.
Bug is an amazing little creature, and everyday I get to spend with her, is a day I learn something new.

Last week while driving in the car, she asked me a question.
This question reaffirmed my current undergrad status in my walk with God, actually, maybe its community college!

Anywho, my darlin bug, asked me if I knew what Angels looked like.
So I tread into my bible college days, and begin to explain to her out of Isaiah and Revelation. She interrupts my theological fru fru talk and proceeds to tell me what Angels look like:

“They look like sparkly cow toes.” – Destanie

I spat my coke and hit the breaks as I didn’t know where to go from there. LITERALLY!

This child continues to tell me a scripture she read with her mom, out of Ezekiel where it explains how they have the feet of a calve, and their color is of bronze and etc.

I quickly realized that a child easily accepts the truth and simplicity of life, heaven, and earth.
In my own eyes, angels scared me. I knew they were towering creatures, who were to give us messages, protects us, and more importantly fill the throne room with Worship. Whereas in her minds eye, they were beautiful, soft, sparkly, touchable things we visit often at Maymont Park.
The key word is Touchable….
We find things unreachable, but to a child, everything is reachable, especially in dreams.

This is also the child who has a dream God-himself, picked her up from school and took her to heaven to hang out and watch Wheel of Fortune.

Touchable.
God is Touchable!
Heaven is Touchable
Belief is Touchable!

So sitting there, in the drivers seat of the car, my new perspective was sparkly cow toes.

Righteous!

End of An Era/Terror

RT: @BREAKING NEWS: Governor Kaine denies clemency for sniper John Allen Muhammad, clearing the way for today’s execution set for 9pm

200px-John_Allen_Muhammad

October 2nd – October 22nd the Eastcoast experienced something called the ‘The Beltway Sniper Attacks”

The only thing I remember is suddenly my mom wouldn’t let me and my cousin leave her sight. I was 14 and he was 15. We lived in a Richmond City suburb, where every Saturday Morning we would walk to the Westover Hill Library, go to Walgreens to grab Gatorade, and then go to the park and play soccer or ride our skateboards. Our routine, now ended, because of a new era in America or was it a new terror in America?

I lived a sheltered life. Everything was perfect, I didn’t know evil, but I knew there was such as thing as ‘accidents’. Like it was an ‘accident’ when my uncle, the best uncle in the world, was murdered for no apparent reason. It was an accident. I knew when a cousin was shot and paralyzed waist down, it was an ‘accident’. Accidents happened, but there was no evil. Just ‘accidents’.  I grew up alittle more, and then my freshman year of high school I listened  as the report of another ‘accident’ happened. The twin towers were hit by planes.

Accidents

But then again, nothing just happens. See it was an ‘accident’ that killed countless amounts of people on 911. And an ‘accident’ that we couldn’t contact my stepdad until almost three days later, after this ‘accident. What I learn in September of 2001 and again in October 2002, is there is no such thing as accidents, but there was evil.

We all make choices, those choices have consequences, and everyone around us has to live with them. There are no accidents!

Today I received the following tweet from a local news affiliate:

RT: @BREAKING NEWS: Governor Kaine denies clemency for sniper John Allen Muhammad, clearing the way for today’s execution set for 9pm

Tonight, he, John Allen Mohammad, will be murdered for the murders he committed. I’m 22 and I still am not sure how I feel about these kinds of things.  Part of me wants to still believe a person cannot be pure evil, and yet the crimes he committed tells me otherwise. I still haven’t processed nor wanted to process what can manipulate the human heart to commit such acts against another. I didn’t get it at 13 watching on television as the towers, my dad took me to, collapse before my eyes. I didn’t get it watching the news at 14, as they announced the sniper has hit a Ashland restaurant we’d frequented. I still don’t get it at 22. I don’t get Ft Hood, I don’t get it.

I dont get the crimes we commit against each other… The things we say and do, the ways we hurt each other. I’m not just talking about the big things like murder or hitting someone with a car, but those little things too. Those things we do on purpose. The ways I intentionally hurt the people surrounding me, because I needed to, because they deserved it. Its been said that, Hope deferred makes the human heart sick. Well what makes it sick enough to be a habitual offender? I believe in the death penalty, I do. But within my heart, somehow I still feel bad for him. Somehow, inside of this heart that has been a victim of loss in life, I still say God forgive them, ‘cos if I can’t ask you to forgive them, I can’t ask you to forgive me. This heart that knows the feeling of a 2am phone call about your loved one, the knock on your door with two uniforms telling you what happened, somehow this heart, feels sad. Sad that we don’t know God, Jehovah God, like He would desire us to.  That Jesus hasn’t gotten the chance to heal our heart of the wounds.

I don’t understand it, for my heart believes he deserves this, but somewhere inside it hurts for him.

Maybe that’s how the end of this era of terror in America will be done. When people are finally able to say God help us all, for we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God, and wages for sin is death.

I don’t understand evil, nor do I want to understand what drives a man this far. Evil breeds evil. Love breeds love. They cannot coexist, one will over power the other. This time around I pray at the end of this era, love will overpower the evil in this world and under it.